By Makereta Komai,
4 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - Tokelau’s plea for help with the establishment of weather stations on its three islands has been answered, with an offer from New Zealand.
The head of the island’s environment services, Kelemeni Tavuto was overwhelmed with the positive responses from donors at the Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) meeting, underway in Nadi this week.
“Tokelau is grateful to New Zealand for agreeing to support us with the most needed weather stations on our three islands. This was one of the urgent needs for our Met Service, said Tavuto.
He said coming to a regional meeting like the PMC has solved some of the immediate needs of the Met Service on the island, which comes under Environment Services.
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has offered us four chatty beetles to help us with the dissemination of information to and from our islands.
“We will assign a chatty beetle device each for our three islands and one will be based at our office in Apia, said Tavuto.
Chatty beetle is a text based alert and message device used in remote locations the smaller island countries in the North Pacific, funded by NOAA. It is designed to disseminate hazard messages (e.g. tsunami warnings, heavy surf, tropical cyclone warnings, etc.) to remote islands.
“NOAA is ready to deliver the chatty beetle devices to Tokelau, as soon as we are ready. I will go back home now to prepare for the delivery.
“The University of Oklahoma has also promised to provide equipment for our weather stations, said Tavuto.
Tokelau was represented at the PMC meeting for the first this year, with funding support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).